OSCE says ‘no’ campaigners intimidated ahead of referendum in Turkey

Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

According to a top official from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), there are intimidation attempts against campaigners for “no vote” ahead of upcoming referendum in Turkey.

Michael Georg Link, the director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, said the OSCE will release its interim report on the referendum process this weekend, but the “main problem is the campaigning process,” Deutsche Welle reported on Wednesday.

Noting that the referendum is “handled one-sidedly in the media,” Link also said there are “restrictions in the issues, such as news and organizing demonstrations,” due to the ongoing state of emergency, which was declared after the July 15, 2016 military coup attempt.

“As the OSCE, we are only able to observe the referendum process inside Turkey. We don’t have a team to observe voting among expats in Germany, Austria or Sweden. This is an issue that we need to handle in the future as the OSCE,” Link added.

Turkey will hold a referendum on April 16 to decide whether to change the current parliamentary system into an executive presidency with vastly enhanced powers for the president.

April 5, 2017

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